Hewitt/Lyons/Suchocki/Yeh,Conceptual Integrated Science



This lecture will help you understand:


A Brief History of Advances in Science

Mathematics and Conceptual Integrated Science

The Scientific Method—A Classic Tool

The Scientific Hypothesis

The Scientific Experiment

Facts, Theories, and Laws

Science Has Limitations

Science, Art, and Religion

Technology—The Practical Use of Science

The Natural Sciences: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, and Astronomy

Integrated Science


A Brief History of Advances in Science

The beginnings of science go back thousands of years to a cause-and-effect way of looking at the world. Early science was based on uncritical human observation.

Forward steps in the history of science, as highlighted in the text, occurred in

Greece, Italy, China, Polynesia, Arab Nations, Poland, Germany, and in many other parts of the world.


During the Dark Ages in Europe, previous scientific knowledge was lost as

religion became established. During the 10th through 12th centuries,

Islamic people brought books into Spain that had been banned by the church,

universities emerged


During the 15th century,

invention of Gutenberg’s printing press, experiments of Galileo

arrival of Renaissance period that provided a foothold to the advance of science and rational thinking

Mathematics and Conceptual Integrated Science

Mathematics Is an important tool in science

equations are shorthand notation for the relationships between scientific concepts and abbreviates a relationship that can be stated in words

makes common sense

equations can guide your thinking

Mathematics and Conceptual Integrated Science


Concept—When you stretch a spring, your pull is proportional to the stretch.

          Proportion—expressed as F ~ ´,

                   where F is your pulling force, and

                   x is the distance the spring stretches

Proportions and equations tell you:

          If one thing changes a certain way, another will change correspondingly.

The Scientific Method—A Classic Tool

Scientific Method

as outlined in section 1.3—NOT to be memorized

one of the ways good science is performed

More important than a particular method is

attitude of inquiry


willingness to accept findings, even those not desired


The Scientific Hypothesis

Principle of falsifiability

          For a hypothesis to be considered scientific, it must be testable—it must, in principle, be capable of being proved wrong.


Which of these is a scientific hypothesis?

The Moon is made of green cheese.

Atomic nuclei are the smallest particles in nature.

A magnet will pick up a copper penny.

Cosmic rays cannot penetrate the thickness of your Conceptual Integrated Science textbook.



          All are scientific hypotheses! All choices not only have tests for proving wrongness, but they have been proved wrong. Nevertheless, they still pass the test of being a scientific hypothesis.

Which of these is not a scientific hypothesis?

Protons carry an electric charge.

Undetectable particles are some of nature’s secrets.

Charged particles will bend when moving in a magnetic field.

All of the above are scientific hypotheses.



          If protons didn’t carry electric charge, they wouldn’t be deflected when crossing a magnetic field. This would be a test for showing the hypothesis wrong. So both A and C are capable of being proved wrong, which makes them scientific. Statement B, however, has no test for wrongness. It is reasonable speculation—but not a scientific hypothesis.

The Scientific Experiment

Rather than philosophize about nature, Galileo went an important step further—he experimented!


“The test of all knowledge is experiment. Experiment is the sole judge of scientific truth.”                                                                    Richard Feynman


“No number of experiments can prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”                                                                                                                 Albert Einstein                                                                                                    

Facts, Theories, and Laws


          a phenomenon about which competent observers can agree


          a synthesis of a large body of information that encompasses well-tested hypotheses about certain aspects of the natural world


          a general hypothesis or statement about the relationship of natural quantities that has been tested over and over again and has not been contradicted—also known as a principle

Which of these often changes over time with further study?



Both of the above.

Neither of the above.


Both can change. Is this a weakness or strength of science? For example, if everything a child holds true is unchanged when that child grows up, with years of study, even receiving advanced degrees, then either nothing was learned or the child was unusually gifted from the start—or was part of a closed system. As we learn new information, we refine our ideas. Likewise with the fields of science.

A person who says, “that’s only a theory” likely doesn’t know that a scientific theory is a


number of facts.

hypothesis of sorts.

vast synthesis of well-tested hypotheses and facts.



A person who says, “that’s only a theory” likely doesn’t know that a scientific theory is a



          Theory in everyday speech is vastly different than its use in science. A vast and verifiable body of knowledge isn’t only a theory; if it passes all its tests, it is elevated to that status! Newton’s theory of gravity, and Einstein’s theory of relativity, for example, are not idle hypotheses—both are supported by innumerable experiments. They are more than only theories.

Science Has Limitations

Domain of science is in natural phenomena; does not deal with the “supernatural,” a domain “above science”


Claims to supernatural phenomenon, true or otherwise, lie outside the domain of science.

A major difference between pseudoscience and science is that pseudoscience

 makes no predictions.

doesn’t use scientific terminology.

has no tests for wrongness.

all of the above.




          Some forms of pseudoscience, often called “junk science,” do make predictions, and many use scientific terminology to pose as science (magnetic healing, energy-producing machines that require no fuel, and so forth). Only science has tests for wrongness.

Science, Art, and Religion

Science asks how

Religion asks why

Art bridges the two


When science and religion address their respective domains, conflict between the two is minimized or absent.

Between a pilot and a priest, who should fly a commercial jet airplane? Who should perform a marriage? (Although the questions are no-brainers, they have a point.)

A.      The pilot should fly the plane and the priest conduct a marriage.

The priest should fly the plane and the pilot conduct a marriage.

The pilot should conduct both.

The priest should conduct both.



          The point of the questions is that the pilot and priest have nurtured different skills for different tasks, and each can do their thing well. Okay, one could argue that a pilot could adequately do both. But it would be a stretch to say a priest could do both, unless the priest was also a pilot.

Technology—The Practical Use of Science


an important tool of science

sometimes the fruit of science, as in medicine that cures disease

a human endeavor

can be used to elevate or to diminish the human condition


Shouldn’t its potential be to elevate?

The Natural Sciences: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, and Astronomy

Natural philosophy

was at one time the study of unanswered questions about nature

became science as answers were found


The Natural Sciences: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, and Astronomy

Physics is the study of basic concepts such as motion, force, energy, matter, heat, sound, light, electricity, and magnetism.

Chemistry builds on physics and studies how matter is put together to produce the growing list of materials and medicines we use in our everyday lives.

Biology, built on chemistry, is the study of life—the most complex of the sciences.

Earth science is the study of geology, meteorology, and oceanography.

Astronomy is the study of nature beyond the confines of Planet Earth‚ the far-out science.


Integrated Science

Integrated Science—fields of science


merge into one another, such as biophysics, biochemistry, geophysics, astrophysics, bioastrophysics

acknowledged to present a cohesive study of the natural world



Although physics may be the most difficult science course in certain schools, when compared with the fields of chemistry, biology, Earth science, and astronomy, it is

 the simplest.

still the hardest!

the central science, in between chemistry and biology.

simple enough, but only for especially intelligent people.



          Just compare the list of terms in the physics chapters of this book with the lists in chapters beyond physics chapters. Which lists are shortest? Chemistry and especially biology are enormously more complex than physics. Physics is much more understood than the
other fields—which is why this book begins with physics—a simpler subject